>>54853732>what a ninja is capable>had to act like a ninja
Naruto was never about ninjas. They were always japanese fantasy battle mages, and it's pretty clear when you think about it beyond that they're called "ninjas".
Some abilities they had were lent from stories about ninjas, since the setting was japanese inspired.
This isn't some rationalization in defense of Naruto. Kishimoto wanted to do a manga about wizards and magic and shit, but editorial decisions from Shonen Jump forced him to change the flavor
Their abilities were, however, still always in the realm of magic. Jutsu are spells, and Naruto's ninjas utilize these spells and rely on them far more than they rely on physical attacks, which are more a compliment to their repertoire of spells. And this has been true since the first arc of Naruto.
Kakashi and Zabuza duking it out with spells rather than simply going hand to hand and supplementing hand to hand with some spells (though that happens too in the fights)
The amount of jutsu Kakashi knows is pretty much legendary. He's notorious for his spell knowledge and stealing techniques.
Saucegay learning a fireball so easily is seen as a show of great aptitude.
Chakra control is the crux of doing anything.
It always was about magic and magical aptitude rather than ninjas doing ninja stuff.